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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 17, 2014 7:45pm-8:01pm EST

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networks. >> 300 years ago the first pioneers crossed the oceans to a new world. a promise. the promise of a land where men could build his own house, raise his children freedom and yet in one of the great river valleys of america, something went wrong. in the tennessee valley, three centuries later the descendents of the pioneers were a neglected people. living in the ruined land. for these children the hope in and the promise were deadly. >> the tennessee valley authority was a project one of the early new deal projects, really a project in the concept that had been under consideration for some years before franklin roosevelt became president. nebraska senator was looking to help improve the quality of life
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in the tennessee river valley, to bring flood control to generate electrical power and to improve the lives of the people living in the tennessee river valley. it was one of the poorest regions in the country at the end of the 1920s and it's a serious attempt at remaking the social and economic lives of the people living in the river valley from knoxville to the mississippi river. earlier today secretary of state john kerry was at a joint news conference with his counterparts from canada and mexico. they are holding talks on the north american free trade agreement or nafta and during the conversation and the conference there they were also asked about the keystone xl pipeline which crosses the
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canadian border. secretary kerry responded to questions about the situation in syria. >> a question for secretary kerry. sir, after you became secretary of state, he made the point repeatedly that it was important to change bashar al-assad's to elation in order to achieve a political solution at geneva ii and almost a year later it's fair that the assad regime believes his position is stronger than ever. in his letter to the united nations this eerie and foreign minister minister will be leaving the debt delegation to geneva ii suggest the purpose of going to geneva ii us to fight terrorism and not discuss the political transition in effect he says some points in the invitation the syrian government received from the u.n. are quote in conflict with the legal and political position of the state of syria. sir my question is how can you expect to make progress toward a political transition at geneva
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ii it the assad governmengovernmen t does not even accept the purpose of the conference which is what it suggests? have you been in contact with a searing government over the past 24 hours to obtain an insurance that accepts the purpose of the meeting and doesn't the syrian foreign foreign minister's writeup mean that more pressure needs to be brought to bear on the assad government in order to make what akel headway? thank you. >> thank you very much michael. yesterday i addressed directly to revisionism of the syrian regime in its effort to try to divert the purpose which will not be successful. more than 30 nations began to assemble all of whom thus far and if there are more, will be and must be committed to the geneva i communiqué. now, you were with me in paris the other day when foreign minister lavrov stood up and reiterated that the purpose of this conference is the
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implementation of the geneva i communiqué. nobody would have believed that assad would have given up his chemical weapons. but he did and the reason he did is that his patrons came to understand that he had to. and i believe as we begin to get to geneva and get into this process that it will become clear that there is no political solution whatsoever if a stock is not discussing the transition and if he thinks he is going to be part of that future. it's not going to happen. the people who are the opponents of this regime will never ever stop. there will be a low-grade insurgency, at worst potentially even the civil war if it continues because they will not stop. now we also were not out of options with respect to what we
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may be able to do to increase the pressure and further change the calculation. i think we have made that clear to the russian foreign minister and others, nor are other players short of an ability to be able to have an impact here. so i think you know they can bluster, they can protest, they can put out distortions. the bottom line is we are going to geneva to implement geneva i. if assad doesn't do that, he will invite greater response in various ways from various people over at period of time so you know i am not particularly surprised that he is trying to divert this. he has did in doing this for months, trying to make himself the protector of syria against extremists. when he himself has even been funding some of those extremists
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even purposely seating territory to them in order to make a proper problem so that he can make the argument that he is somehow the protector against them. nobody's going to be fooled. we are not going to be fooled by this process so you know foreign minister lavrov has stated, they are supporting the geneva i communiqué and the government has to calm and negotiate around that communiqué. since rush is one of the primary benefactors of the assad regime, we believe the russians have a high stake in helping to make certain that assad understands exactly what the parameters of this negotiation are. >> you mentioned that you discussed how improved transit of goods to people here in north
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america. many people here in the u.s. have been asking the three governments update nafta taking into account the reality for example of the recently energy reform in mexico. so i would ask the three of you are you willing to update nafta or reopen it and secretary kerry to reopen nafta formally and secretary kerry especially for you, how do you respond to those who believe that at some point a u.s. should include canada and mexico in negotiations if only to avoid future problems with the nafta and whether not you agree with the europeans. >> i invite her guests to address this also, over the last 20 years as i mentioned we have developed this incredible network of. agreements in the western hemisphere and we have long wanted to open up those
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benefits. i think that's stepping up all of this to the tpp is a very critical component in moving the next tier post-nafta. i don't think you have to open up nafta per se in order to achieve what we are trying to achieve. there are plenty of ways for us in cooperative then we discussed a lot of them this morning with respect to borders, with respect to regulations, with respect to energy cooperation, technology, innovation, investment. there are a host of things that we can move forward on that will take us to the next level without having to go back and reopen them. i think we are well engaged and looking forward to a much more robust relationship. what we did do today was set down a series is a sipc items that we will follow up on quickly so that these can be the items that our presidents and
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prime minister wind up engaging on in a meeting in february. i think today's meeting holds up the prospect of that could be a more productive and more specific engagement as a result. >> we believe that nafta has been an unqualified success. the transpacific partnership. negotiation that all three of us are in offers the opportunity to strengthen the partnership and we will use that opportunity. nafta has worked well for many years. in the last 20 years. has multiplied by three-fold and direct investment in the region has multiplied by eight. mexico is now the third trading partner with both the u.s. and canada with the second in the fifth market of the u.s. and
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canada respectively. just to put it in perspective mexico is the first market for exports with arizona, california and texas. we are the second largest for all the 20 states. again to put the numbers in perspective, exports to mexico just from the u.s. were larger than exports to china and japan together. they were larger than germany france and the u.k. put together. that is a lot of work for which we have an opportunity to go. as we work with secretary kerry and minister baird we ain't we have to build on it to construct the idea for dynamic north america. north america is the single most important -- we are standing here before you today to explain about the dash
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the largest exporters of mass industries and we have therefore the obligation to review how the economic processes going in such a way as to remove any obstacles that create investment, economic prosperity to be a reality to the citizens. the commitment that we have agreed with today will allow us to develop an agenda to follow it through to have mechanisms that allow for the commitments with which to be fully implemented. in terms of the. relationship with europe at some point we will have three bilateral. agreements. it is in the interest of mexico that those negotiations are to the benefit of the north american region in canada and the u.s. as well and we will work to make sure that those negotiations further increase north america and
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competitiveness and to having a more integrated perspective from north america and the european union. >> thank you. a question from alex panetta of the canadian press. >> my question is on a bilateral matter, a canada-u.s. issue, the keystone pipeline. last february's secretary kerry you said you were hoping to be in a position to offer a decision on keystone in the near future. it's been almost a year. since then the canadian government has said it wouldn't take no for an answer on keystone. this week york canadian interlocutor is in washington and has repeatedly asked for the decision because apparently the uncertainty is becoming untenable in the oil industry. so i would ask you to answer your canadian friend.
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>> i always answer my canadian friend that i have to do it according to our administrative process and the rules and regulations of which i operate and i think he understands that. we are currently engaged in the environmental impact statement analysis and an analysis will be made with respect to the national interest ultimately and we are just not at that point yet. i haven't received it. they haven't finished it. there were a lot of questions that were raised in all the public comment period and all those comments have necessitated appropriate answers. the public has a role in this. we are all accountable to our publics, the democratic process demands that we do that. so we are doing it and i can promise our friends in canada that all the appropriate effort is being put into trying to get this done effectively and rapidly and my hope is that
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before long that analysis will be available. and then my work begins. >> if i could as well respond. john and i have had discussions about this in the past and will bilaterally again today. obviously this is an important project for the future and prosperity of the canadian economy. 26 months ago hillary hudson called and explained the concerns the administration had particularly with the aquifer in nebraska. we are we are pleased that the proponent has worked constructively with the state in realigning the pipeline. we have gone through the process. we hope that the final state department comes out in short order and the administration will be in a position to make a positive decision. this is a great project for the future economic prosperity of canada and the great prosperity for a a lot of jobs in nine stas and a great project that will
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increase energy security of our closest friend and ally. we obviously want to see and look forward to a positive decision toward a positive decision to job creation. >> thank you everyone. >> thank you all very much. appreciate it. ..

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